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EIU Department of History

What is history and how does it integrate with your wider academic and career goals? In 1931, Carl Becker told the American Historical Association that the study of history enables a society to judge "what it is doing in the light of what it has done and what it hopes to do."

The Department of History at EIU offers over 60 courses, ranging from sweeping surveys of long periods to tightly focused seminars on specific topics and countries. Core courses provide grounding in American and World History as well as the tools to research, write, and present focused subjects.

Why Choose EIU for History

Exploring the Past

Undergraduate students at Eastern can choose from courses taught by specialists in a wide variety of subjects from ancient Greece, to modern Iran, Korea, and South Africa, and from Atlantic mariners in the age of sail to World War II.

Individual Attention; Unique Projects

In Fall 2012, Dr. Debra Reid and eleven undergraduates created an award-winning exhibit, "Building a Brotherhood," focused on freemasonry in Central Illinois after World War II. They researched it, acquired artifacts, and wrote the informational panels for the exhibit, which went on display at Booth Library in November. Not only did the exhibit receive an "Excellent" rating from Special Projects Illinois State Historical Society, Dr. Reid notes the students "also impressed the masons."

Real World Skills

Why do employers desperately want to hire applicants with history degrees? How does a history degree provide the real-world skills needed to succeed in a variety of careers? Nearly 80 history majors learned the answers to these and other questions at the 2013 EIU History Careers Day. Former EIU history majors spoke about how their history degrees provided them a leg up on the job market upon graduation and the real-world skills that have allowed them to build highly successful careers.

Professional Opportunities

Undergraduate Programs


The History department offers over 60 courses, ranging from sweeping surveys of long periods to tightly focused seminars on specific topics and countries. Most courses offer students the opportunity to improve their writing skills. Click here for more information on this program.

History with Departmental Honors

To be admitted to the Departmental Honors Program, students must have at least a 3.50 CGPA and a major GPA of 3.50 on a 4.0 point scale after completing History 2010, 2020, 2500, and 2560, or their equivalent through transfer credit. Students must also have permission of the Dean of Honors College and the Departmental Honors Coordinator. Click here for more information on this program.

History with Option in International Studies

The option in History with International Studies requires History 2020G, 2560, 3555, 2500, 3600G, and 21 semester hours distributed between History, Economics, Political Science, and Geography, as well as proficiency in French, German, or Spanish. Click here for more information on this program.

History with Teacher Licensure in Social Science

A History with Teacher Licensure in Social Science degree allows students to pursue a degree in History while training and becoming licensed to teach high school social studies. Click here for more information on this program.

History Minor

Students minoring in History must take at least 18 semester hours (HIS 2010G, HIS 2020G, HIS 2560, HIS 3555, and two upper-division history electives). Click here for more information on this program.

Don't take our word for it

"The history department just fostered such a love for exploring the world, whether it was in the history books or in present day. So many classes were a reminder that these events or people are still so relevant to our modern world, so knowing the history made traveling that easy next step. Eastern is a large part of the reason I studied abroad in London. It’s definitely the reason I ended up living and teaching in France."

Mattie Kornetta (BA 2014)

"Looking back at my time in the history department at EIU, I realize how thankful I am for the countless opportunities presented to me both during my undergraduate and graduate studies. Through my classes, undergraduate thesis, and history-oriented extracurricular activities, I've developed skills that I put to use in the everyday world post-graduation. The faculty take the time to get to know you on a personal level and will help you achieve your academic, personal, and professional goals. If you're a prospective student taking a campus tour and hear how EIU is and always will be home, it's true! I will always be grateful for choosing history at EIU as my second home!"

Cayla Wagner (BA 2016 & MA 2017)

"EIU has been a second home to me. The faculty genuinely cared about me as a person and a student. The friendships have gone from college study sessions to being bridesmaids and lifelong friends. EIU not only shaped me as an educator but also helped me grow as a person. I wouldn’t trade being a panther for anything.”

Andrea Morgan (BA 2013)

"EIU truly was my home away from home. My mother and aunt are alums, so I was already drawn to EIU, and looking back know I made the right choice in choosing to go there. My time in the History Department was beyond rewarding. The transferable skills I acquired from the faculty of the department allowed me to market myself after graduation, and it helped me get a job I love. I was presented with so many research and networking opportunities through the department - it rivals anything I could have possibly received at a larger, much more expensive school. Go, Big Blue!"

Quentin Spannagel (BA 2016)

Related Pages

HistoriaHistory ClubPhi Alpha ThetaStudy Abroad

Contact Information

History Department

2744 Coleman Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

Sace E Elder, Interim Chair

2542 Coleman Hall

Dr. Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, Social Science Teaching Program Coordinator

2556 - Coleman Hall

Brian Mann, Undergraduate Advisor

3721 - Coleman Hall

Lee Patterson, Graduate Coordinator

2572 - Coleman Hall

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